Tussle for top three at 2017 World Rowing Junior Champs
The semifinals raced today at the 2017 World Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania. The goal was to be in a top three spot as this would get them into Sunday’s final. The goal was also to get the good weather with predicted strong winds forcing races into five minute intervals. But for the start of racing Trakai’s Galve Lake looked great with some small wind gusts on generally flat water under sunny skies.
Junior Women’s Four (JW4-) – Semifinals
The heats two days ago indicated that the boats to beat would be Croatia, Romania and China. In Semifinal One Romania took on Croatia. The Romanian’s had the lead at the start with Croatia moving with them. Then a piece by Croatia propelled them into the lead. Romania held on and these two boats were neck-and-neck through the middle of the race. In the final sprint Croatia went to 39 to try and get away from Romania. Romania didn’t seem took concerned and held 34. Poland came through in third rating 36 and not in any threat of qualifying. Poland celebrated the most at the finish. They had made the final. Croatia had recorded the fastest qualifying time.
Settling into a 36 stroke rate helped keep the United States in the lead of Semifinal Two. They had China as the closest challengers. China had recorded the fastest qualifying time in the heats two days ago and the US must have been keeping an eye on them. The United States included Kelsey McGinley in bow who took bronze in this boat class last year. The US crew worked their way up to a nice lead through the middle of the race with China in second and New Zealand and Great Britain fighting it out for third. New Zealand went to 38 with Great Britain at 35. A late sprint by China got them ahead of the United States with New Zealand managing to shake off the British.
Qualifiers: CRO, ROU, POL, CHN, USA, NZL
Junior Women’s Pair (JW2-) – Semifinals
Semifinal One included Greece who had recorded the fastest qualifying time in the heats. They were up against Germany and it was these two boats that took off into the lead at the start. Greece’s Margarita Georgoudi and Christina Bourmpuo earned a slight margin and then hit the side wind in the middle of the race which knocked them about a bit. Then Greece got a margin over Germany’s Katja Fuhrmann and Marie-Sophie Zeidler. The sprint was on with the crowd enjoying seeing Lithuania in third. Greece and Germany rated 35 to the finish line with Lithuania hitting 39 to secure the final qualifying spot.
Romania won their heat two days ago but it was Italy who had the lead in Semifinal Two. Romania’s Adriana Ailincai and Maria Tivodariu raced in this boat class last year but they did not medal. Italy’s Laura Meriano was a silver medallist in the women’s four in 2016. With her partner, Vittoria Tonoli they led through the middle of the race with Romania in second and China back in third. Then Ailincai and Tivodariu pushed ahead of Italy and led the field through to the finish line, crossing with an open water lead.
Qualifiers: GRE, GER, LTU, ROU, ITA, CHN
Junior Men’s Pair (JM2-) – Semifinals
Uzbekistan had a great race in the heats and recorded the fastest qualifying time by a large margin. Today they took on New Zealand who had won one of the other heats in Semifinal One. But it was Romania, who came from the repechage, in the lead at the start and through the middle of the race. New Zealand overtook Uzbekistan to get into second but the Romanian’s continued to dominate. Then in the final sprint a flying Italian crew took their stroke rate into the 40s and made the race a photo finish. Romania had win with New Zealand in second, Uzbekistan in third. Italy had missed out. Romania had recorded the fastest qualifying time.
Semifinal Two included Turkey and Croatia who had won their respective heats. They left the blocks together with Turkey taking a small lead over Croatia. Argentina and Austria battled it out for third. Aydin Inanc Sahin and Ismail Ali Bekiroglu of Turkey were finalists in the four at last year’s junior championships and they have stuck together. But they were up against twins in the Croatian boat – Patrik and Anton Loncaric who continued to challenge. Then Mexico came through and moved up on the two leading boats. In the sprint Croatia went to 38 with Mexico on 40. Turkey looked to be running out of steam as they watched Mexico approach. Turkey held them off. Both will qualify along with winners, Croatia.
Qualifiers: ROU, NZL, UZB, CRO, TUR, MEX
Junior Men’s Four (JM4-) – Semifinals
Great Britain dominated in the heats and they tried to do the same again today in Semifinal One. At the start New Zealand kept up with Great Britain with Germany a bit back. Great Britain then managed to push away in the second half of the race. But New Zealand, rating 40, came back at the end. Great Britain got there first with New Zealand and Germany also qualifying. Great Britain had recorded the fastest time overall, by a very handy margin.
Semifinal Two included the second fastest qualifier from the heats – Romania. Romania took to the lead at the start. But margins were tight and all six boats hit the first 500m mark with just two seconds separating the crews. Then Romania managed to get away a bit with Croatia and Italy neck-and-neck in second. Both Croatia and Italy had to go through a repechage to get to this semifinal putting them even in the number of races raced. Italy and Croatia remained locked together coming into the final sprint. Italy was at 42, Croatia on 41. Both boats closed on Romania. Romania went to 38 and Italy now at 44. Romania, Croatia and Italy had qualified.
Qualifiers: GBR, NZL, GER, ROU, ITA, CRO
Junior Women’s Quadruples Sculls (JW4x) – Semifinals
In Semifinal One both Germany and the Netherlands had come directly from the heats and they sat in the middle lanes. All other crews had come through the repechages. Germany had the lead at the start with Switzerland the closest challengers in second. This order remained the same through the middle of the race with the Netherlands in third. Then in the third 500 Switzerland caught a crab and the Dutch moved into second. But the Swiss had enough of a margin over China to still be in third. Germany now had an open water lead as Switzerland tried to come back and take on the Netherlands. Germany crossed the line easily in first with the lower rating Swiss managing to get ahead of the Dutch just before the line.
Semifinal Two featured Romania who had the fastest qualifying time in the heats and they were away the quickest with Russia in second. But it was very tight behind the Romanian’s and at the half way point there was very little between the following crews. Then disaster struck the Italian boat. Stroke seat had taken a very bad stroke and snapped her blade. The crew continued to race with three. Meanwhile Romania was still out in front with Great Britain inching into second over the United States. The Czech Republic then went out to challenge for third. It was a real scramble for the line. The US was at 41 with the British at 36. The US had broken free of the Czech Republic. Romania had recorded the fastest qualifying time.
Qualifiers: GER, SUI, NED, ROU, GBR, USA
Junior Men’s Quadruple Sculls (JM4x) – Semifinals
Switzerland had won their heat and recorded very much the fastest time. They took on Italy today in Semifinal One. The Swiss got out in front with Italy chasing hard. The Italians kept Switzerland honest through the middle of the race as Denmark came up to challenge. Then Australia did a valiant effort to get into the medals. They ran out of water with Denmark earning the third qualifying spot behind Switzerland and Italy.
Greece was the fastest at the start of Semifinal Two with Germany chasing hard. Greece raced at the under-23 championships as a warm up for this regatta and it may have helped them out as they kept ahead of Germany. But it was very close with four boats going through the middle of the race neck-and-neck. The British then got a very small lead with Germany and Greece fighting back. Now Poland was coming up strong. The British had won and in the fastest qualifying time.
Qualifiers: SUI, ITA, DEN, GBR, GRE, GER
Junior Men’s Double Sculls (JM2x) – Semifinals
Semifinal One opened with Greece in the lead. Christos Stergiakas and Charalampos Ntinenis of Greece are at their first international regatta and they were looking very confident out in front. Germany followed in second with Spain and Slovakia neck-and-neck for third. Then Italy took up the pace and moved through Spain and Slovakia and into third. Greece was still in the lead with Germany now under threat from Italy with Spain holding the pace. Italy was at 41 and Spain at 40. The Spanish celebrated. They had made the final by a fraction of a second over Italy.
Australia had the lead at the start of Semifinal Two. Then Belarus did a push and got up level with Australia. These two crews moved away from the rest of the field leaving a virtual line between Belgium, Denmark, France and Moldova. Then Belgium managed to break away from the bunch as Belarus’s Artsem Laputsin and Yauheni Zalaty continued to lead. But Australia’s Cormac Kennedy-Leverett and Fergus Hamilton had more to give. They came back and overtook in the final sprint recording the fastest qualifying time. Belarus held on to second with a very happy France in third.
Qualifiers: GRE, GER, ESP, AUS, BLR, FRA
Junior Women’s Double Sculls (JW2x) – Semifinals
Germany had a slight lead in Semifinal One with South Africa chasing hard. Then Canada came up to challenge South Africa and these three crews hit the 1000m mark almost together. This leading trio had now moved away from the rest of the field and it would take a disaster for them not to qualify at this stage. Germany’s Maren Voelz and Nora Peuser won this race at the European Rowing Junior Championships earlier this season and they had a slight leading edge coming into the final sprint. Canada was going slightly crooked but they now had second place over South Africa. Germany rated 35 coming through the final sprint with Canada gaining despite the short rowing time together as a crew. Germany got to the line in first.
Semifinal Two saw Italy take a fast start with Great Britain moving almost as quickly. Great Britain had recorded the fastest time in the quarterfinals and they got their boat into the lead going through the middle of the race. Holly Dunford and Zoe Adamson of Great Britain continued to lead with Italy was holding on to the pace. Now Chile was moving up as they tried to secure their qualifying spot. They had done it. Yoselyn Carcamo Ponce and Magdalena Bravo Alvez of Chile had made the final.
Qualifiers: GER, CAN, RSA, GBR, ITA, CHI
Junior Men’s Single Sculls (JM1x) – Semifinals
Clark Dean of the United States may be the new star of the single. Dean raced in Semifinal One at the head of the field. Clark is from Sarasota, the home of this year’s World Rowing Championships and he had a small lead over Bastian Secher of Denmark going through the middle of the race. Belarus’s Kiryl Sikhanovich followed in third with Uzbekistan chasing hard. Dean crossed the line rating a handy 31 stroke rate with Sikhanovich sprinting after Secher. The Dane, however, held on to second. Dean had recorded the fastest qualifying time.
Germany’s Moritz Wolff had a slight lead in Semifinal Two with South Africa’s fast starter, Mmbudzeni Masutha holding on to Wolff’s pace. By the middle of the race Wolff had a small lead as Latvia’s Janis Tombors tried to close on Masutha. Norway and Turkey were both still very much in a position to challenge for a qualifying spot. Then Jonas Juel of Norway did a push that got him into third. In the final sprint Wolff went to a 36 stroke rate and moved away from the field. Masutha held on to second and Norway and Turkey went to a photo finish. Turkey's Naim Talha Gunes had done it.
Qualifiers: USA, DEN, BLR, GER, RSA, TUR
Junior Women’s Single Sculls (JW1x) – Semifinals
Esther Briz Zamorano of Spain was out in front in Semifinal One. She had impressed all week and continued to today going to an open water lead by the middle of the race. Sweden’s Alice Ekros and Margaus Bailleul of France were neck-and-neck for second. As Briz Zamorano continued to lead, Bailleul, who finished fourth last year in this race, moved into second. Briz Zamorano was in the double last year where she finished seventh. The single must suit her as the Spaniard crossed the finish line with an open water lead. Bailleul held second with Ekros in third.
Germany looked great in Semifinal Two. Lisa Gutfleisch of Germany got away quickly and earned a small lead. But South Africa’s Megan Hancock was ready and these two boats went through the middle of the race together with Caitlin Govaert of Belgium also holding the pace of these leaders. Govaert then did a big push that got her into second with Germany now becoming the chaser. At the line Hancock had won with Govaert and Gutfleisch joining her in the final.
Qualifiers: ESP, FRA, SWE, RSA, BEL, GER